SEO is an ever-changing process and needs to be adapted as Google modifies its algorithm to prevent people from exploiting weaknesses. Google implemented Penguin in 2012 to ferret out bad actors, and the upcoming 2016 update will be real-time, always evolving change, creating even a more challenging environment for SEO. Let’s look at some changes you should make in 2016 to stay at the top of your SEO game.
Understand What’s Driving Success
It is important to understand that an increase in your website’s ranking does not mean you are maximizing your revenue potential. Use tools like KISSMetrics or RJMetrics to track customer movement and determine which queries are leading to financial success. This shows a true picture of your keyword effectiveness, as opposed to popularity. This difference matters because improved keyword effectiveness helps you connect with people ready to buy.
Ride the Mobile Wave
Due to the rapid rise in mobile internet use, Google will penalize a site for not offering a mobile-friendly site. Avoid other things that might slow down entry to your site, such as an overlay for an email list.
Use Broad Keywords
Mid-long and long-tail keywords have been in fashion for quite some time, and Google’s Hummingbird algorithm picks up on whether your website satisfies both queries. Limiting your site to just mid-long and long-tail keywords passes on the opportunity to use broad keywords. Hummingbird can better understand content and context with the use of broad keywords, and this will help improve rankings and drive traffic to your site.
Understand the Value of Positive Gossip
Expressed links, or clickable links, that point back to your website are invaluable, but implied links can do much to boost your SEO rankings. An implied link is when someone mentions your site, but there is no link to click on. These implied links are viewed by Google as an expression of popularity and can increase your rankings. When others talk about you in a positive manner, it weighs on your perceived importance, which Google uses to help measure credibility and user desire to locate your site.
Market Quality Content
A firm foundation in SEO is critical to your success, but great SEO rankings won’t benefit you without the ability to thoroughly market your site’s content. Quality should always take precedent over quantity when it comes to content. Great ways to effectively market content include using keyword stats to boost visibility of your content, finding other sites with similar interests and offer to exchange guest blog posts, create a long and thorough FAQ, and offer good quality content so that highly esteemed and respected authorities would be inclined to link to your info from their sites.
Be Vigilant for Negative SEO
You may, at one time or another, fall prey to a malicious SEO campaign. Although unavoidable, there are steps you can take to mitigate the damage and have the offender penalized. Familiarize yourself with Google Webmaster Tools. There are tools available to report suspicious activity. Pay attention to your links and stats so you can key in on unusual behavior before serious damage is inflicted. A malicious SEO campaign can result in penalties by Google that can destroy your ratings. If it goes on long term, you may be unable to recover. The sooner you are aware, the sooner you can fight back.
Make the Switch to https://
When you access banking sites and online checkouts, you typically see an ‘S’ at the end of http. The ‘S’ is for ‘security,’ meaning the website uses encryption and authentication standards in order to protect the confidentiality of online transactions. When your web address includes the ‘S,’, Google will recognize your site as more secure. This is a change that came in with the New Year, so if you haven’t switched over to a secure site yet, you need to act quickly because it is affecting your SEO.
Seek Out an Influential Expert
When influential people speak, others tend to pay attention. Having an influential person with a specific area of expertise representing your business or brand can really help your marketing efforts. It can also be invaluable with SEO. When influencers write blog content, post videos, or contribute to newsletters, this can help improve your site’s rankings. Google looks for high quality, relevant content and real value to boost your page.
Building a better mousetrap is great, but if no one can find it, or if you’re advertising to people who want a better flyswatter, you’re never going to get the desired results. Your targeted audience must be able to find you, and that means SEO must be done on consistent basis, with the right messaging, and aimed at the right audience. Out of date SEO techniques are a sure-fire path to failure. SEO is an ongoing process, never a one-and-done thing. Keeping on top of new trends in SEO can help you be more successful today and better positioned for the future.